Aconcagua questions

Regional discussion and conditions reports for South America. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the South American Climbing Partners section.
no avatar
drManhattan

 
Posts: 84
Joined: Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:25 am
Thanked: 3 times in 3 posts

Aconcagua questions

by drManhattan » Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:44 am

Hello all,

After a few years of putting off Aconcagua for various reasons I have finally decided to attempt it at the end of this year. I am looking to go as a pair and get logistics to basecamp.

I have a bunch of questions I am hoping people can provide some information on:

- I am looking to get some new boots, my Spantiks run a little big and I am looking to replace them for Aconcagua and beyond, would G2 SM's be good for Aconcagua/Denali/Muztag Ata or would I be better off looking at Olympus Mons?

- Can anyone provide some information around carrying your own waste? can you hide your waste at each camp and then just collect it one bag at a time on the way down? or do you need to carry it the whole time?

- What are water sources at each camp? if none do you need to melt snow? (are you using a filter of some sort?)

- We are looking to go as a pair, will one mule with one large duffel each be sufficient?

- How do you manage the river crossings?

- With load carries what is the likelihood that someone steals your cache? I'm a little worried about this as it would effectively end the expedition...

- Where can I buy a good map of Aconcagua?

- Would 2 tents be a good idea? (leave one up at basecamp) take one higher up.

- Anything you would suggest for 2 people doing this unguided?

I am sure I will have more questions later, thanks for your time.

User Avatar
asmrz

 
Posts: 1063
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2002 7:52 am
Thanked: 229 times in 141 posts

Re: Aconcagua questions

by asmrz » Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:24 pm

It has been a few years since I have been there but

If you are comfortable with a minimum of gear, one mule for two people load is just fine. One duffel bag for you, one for your partner.

The company you hire to carry your load will have at least one tent at the BC. You should be able to make easy arrangements with them to store your gear.

I don't think two tents are essential or needed. After you arrive at the Plaza (if that is your BC) you can stay at the Lodge for four or five days and each day you can go for day hike up the mountain, each day a bit higher.
Or if it is still allowed, there used to be a tent area beside the lodge which allowed you to buy some food from the lodge but camp in your own tent.

Actually, you do not say what route you intend to do. I'm only assuming that your intent is the regular route, so this write-up is for it.

On the regular route and other routes on the mountain, you'll need to melt snow, well with the exception of the approach which has running streams (good water). I used Iodine to purify.

I do not recall big problems crossing any of the streams but I have not been to the South Face.

I think two people who are used to climbing on weekends in any conditions, should have absolutely no problem flying to Argentina, taking a bus from Mendoza, hiking the two days to the BC, taking a few days to acclimatize and then climb the mountain. I used 25 days and soloed the peak in 1998 via the regular route after we failed on the Ibanez-Marmillod route.

A bit of Spanish would not hurt while making arrangements in Argentina.

E-mail me if you find any of this useful and if you want to talk about anything. Good luck, Alois.

Edit.. Spelling, what else.
Last edited by asmrz on Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

no avatar
drManhattan

 
Posts: 84
Joined: Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:25 am
Thanked: 3 times in 3 posts

Re: Aconcagua questions

by drManhattan » Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:12 pm

Thanks for the response Asmrz,

I speak ok spanish as I have spent a lot of time in South America, and my partner is a doctor so i think we compliment each other there.

We have both been over 6000m previously, but majority of our climbs were guided, we have done some hikes unguided though.

Becauseof that logistics and the weather are my two biggest concerns at the moment, so with a good 10 months to prepare I am trying to soak up as much information as possible. I would rather do this unguided and have to turn around then go guided and summit.

no avatar
drManhattan

 
Posts: 84
Joined: Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:25 am
Thanked: 3 times in 3 posts

Re: Aconcagua questions

by drManhattan » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:48 pm

Can anyone else help with my questions above?

no avatar
Sunny Buns

 
Posts: 476
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:24 am
Thanked: 58 times in 52 posts

Re: Aconcagua questions

by Sunny Buns » Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:43 am

Answers assume you are going via normal route:

-Water? ~20 years ago, water at BC was from small melt streams off the snow - make sure to fill bottles before it gets dark because stream will freeze over night. I filtered everything. Poop is everywhere on the mountain. Higher we melted snow - no fun.

- One duffel? Look on the internet at the mule services - they will give max weight and other requirements for the mule. We hiked from Plaza del Inca to Confluencia (6 miles) with enough gear to spend the night, then the mules arrived later with the rest of it. For the 14 mile hike to BC we carried only survival gear/lunch - mules took the rest. On one trip I was on something went wrong and a bag did not arrive and some people had to leave the trip! Make very sure the mule guys know exactly what to do with each bag. Will one bag work? I took 2 large bags just to make the trip easier on the airplane - but to answer your question, put what you want to carry 20 miles in your pack on your back, then see if you can put all the rest in your duffel bag. I used those green canvas army-type duffel bags - they got some holes rubbed in them on the mule ride.

- River crossings? Were not a problem in January on normal route - carry light weight shoes for crossings. May be bigger problem if not on normal route.

- Steal cache? Saw one older man walking out crying because his gear was stolen. Don't know how often it happens. We had no problem - we buried our gear under rocks.

- Map? Try this: aconcagua-the-map-t49406.html
I bought a southern hemisphere compass in Mendoza. Didn't really need it.

- 2 tents? Yes, you may have gear you want to leave at BC like your heavy duffel bag. Also, what if one of your party decides not to go up for some reason? What we did was to pay a guide service like Amayra or Grajales, etc to feed us in BC, and they let us stash some items in their camp - maybe we left one of our tents down there so they could watch it - can't remember. That was good - they had a big tent with table/chairs where we ate breakfast, lunch, dinner, which was nice - we did not have to cook - take a down parka - it is cold sitting around camp. BC tent should be able to handle some wind - we had some at BC - but does not need to be expensive.

- Unguided? Normal route, no problem. It's a trail all the way to the summit. I'd read RJ Secors book on Aconcagua. It's excellent. Your Spanish should help. Review all of the information on commercial guiding sites to see their itinerary, logistics, how they do things, etc. Mountain Madness, Field Touring Alpine, all of them - READ, READ, READ. Look for old threads on summitpost.
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss ... +aconcagua

Good luck. Have fun.

no avatar
drManhattan

 
Posts: 84
Joined: Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:25 am
Thanked: 3 times in 3 posts

Re: Aconcagua questions

by drManhattan » Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:23 pm

Awesome stuff!

Yes I will be doing the normal route and will definitely be looking to book Grajales for our BaseCamp logistics. I am wondering if Grajales can provide the second tent for BC? so I will pretty much just need to concentrate on the 6-7 days above BC.

Man I will be furious if my gear goes missing and my trip is over >:(

What about Radios? or Satellite phone? needed?

Like I have said the weather worries me a little. going unguided I guess we will need to be a bit more conservative on summit day.

no avatar
logsden

 
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:08 am
Thanked: 23 times in 17 posts

Re: Aconcagua questions

by logsden » Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:43 pm

Boots: I have not worn your boots but considering they are marketed as warmer than Spantiks, they will be fine for Aconcagua. Likely warm enough for your other objectives.
Human waste: Basic rules apply - Carry it all off and keep it centralized in each camp in a strong trash compactor bag. Don't forget it or lose it. Don't let it get blown off by wind. Otherwise manage as you see fit.
Water: On Normal Route, most camp options have snow in normal conditions. Camp Canada is not worthwhile in my opinion. Often dry and too short a carry/move from PdM. BC to Nido to Colera or Berlin is better for multiple reasons.
Duffel: One duffel apiece should definitely be adequate.
Rivers: No significant river crossings under normal wx conditions getting to PdM.
Theft: Not a major cause for concern. Stashed gear should be out of sight in a black trash bag.
Maps: Can be found at any gear shop or street vendor in Mendoza
Tents: Second tent allows more flexible logistics and some lighter moves.
Other: Go with Grajales. Excellent company. Sat comms are excellent option for wx updates. InReach works very well.

The lodge mentioned in a previous post has been out of business for years.

no avatar
Sunny Buns

 
Posts: 476
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:24 am
Thanked: 58 times in 52 posts

Re: Aconcagua questions

by Sunny Buns » Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:29 am

Email Grajales and ask if you can stash some stuff in one of their tents; and ask if they can provide a tent for your use while you are in BC - I'd guess they can, but that's just a guess. If not, ask them if you can put some stuff in a tarp and cover it with rocks in their camp until you get back to BC.

I thought there was a sat phone available somewhere in BC. Unless you want to call someone, don't need it. Nice to have? I guess, but maybe spendy and heavy. I heard there is a medical ranger tent at Nido - maybe they have one. You might find out if you can stash stuff in their area so they can keep an eye on it.

no avatar
drManhattan

 
Posts: 84
Joined: Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:25 am
Thanked: 3 times in 3 posts

Re: Aconcagua questions

by drManhattan » Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:29 am

Excellent thanks guys really excited for this

no avatar
hvassios

 
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:33 pm
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Re: Aconcagua questions

by hvassios » Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:12 am

I'd like to tag another question onto this string if you don't mind. I'm headed down with a group to do Aconcagua in January. I have heard from other blog posts that people have gotten their food taken in customs on the way there. My preference would be to buy most of the food for the trip here in the States and have it organized and ready.
Has anyone had experiences with food getting taken in customs? What did customs take/not take? What food did you wait and buy in Mendoza?

Thanks!

no avatar
Sunny Buns

 
Posts: 476
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:24 am
Thanked: 58 times in 52 posts

Re: Aconcagua questions

by Sunny Buns » Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:56 am

"Has anyone had experiences with food getting taken in customs? What did customs take/not take? What food did you wait and buy in Mendoza?"


Are you going with a guided group? They usually provide your food, but some may not.

My info is prior to 9/11/01: I took food but that was before the 9/11 attacks. Don't know how it works now. Back then I had 2 huge green canvas duffel bags with everything in those. They didn't even open them up. I did have lots of freeze dried food, jerky, etc. Mendoza had fairly good grocery stores at that time - there was a Wal-Mart but it's a ways out of town - don't know if it had food or not. You could buy fuel in Mendoza.

User Avatar
cab

 
Posts: 78
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:26 pm
Thanked: 21 times in 14 posts

Re: Aconcagua questions

by cab » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:51 pm

I went in 2014 and had heard the same thing about food being confiscated. I took a bunch of food with me and at the Mendoza airport they didn't even open my bag to look, so I think it's random as to which bags they search. Due to some travel difficulties on the way back, I had to take a bus over the Andes from Mendoza to Santiago and at the Argentina/Chile border, the Chileans did search my bag and took some leftover beef jerky and other stuff. Maybe they are just more strict at land crossings vs. airports? I think it's probably worth the risk to buy food in the states and bring it with you rather than having to deal with doing all of your shopping there (especially for specialty items). You should be able to get last minute stuff in Mendoza no problem.

no avatar
Nicolas

 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 4:07 pm
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Re: Aconcagua questions

by Nicolas » Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:59 pm

Hello,
Many answers to your questions up here. I climbed the Aconcagua the 10 of december this year in total autonomy, you can translate my blog review with informations (time, altitudes, food...) and pictures: mariellenicolas.trekaventures.com
Quick answers:
am looking to get some new boots, my Spantiks run a little big and I am looking to replace them for Aconcagua and beyond, would G2 SM's be good for Aconcagua/Denali/Muztag Ata or would I be better off looking at Olympus Mons?
Look good, I had doble boots Scarpa Phantom 6000, was perfect
- Can anyone provide some information around carrying your own waste? can you hide your waste at each camp and then just collect it one bag at a time on the way down? or do you need to carry it the whole time?
The first camp and second camp you can find bins and pay companies for this service and hot water and toilets 5$/day. Then carry everytime everyting or leave in your tent when you carry or summitday
- What are water sources at each camp? if none do you need to melt snow? (are you using a filter of some sort?)

- We are looking to go as a pair, will one mule with one large duffel each be sufficient? Yes (i carry everything, my bag was 25kg, between camp1 and base camp was long day, then you do in 2 day acclimatation carrying between each camp

- How do you manage the river crossings? No problem, jump a bit, no much water

- With load carries what is the likelihood that someone steals your cache? I'm a little worried about this as it would effectively end the expedition... i heard about that, but nobody was stolen when I was there, try to make some friends who sleep in the camp and they will keep your bag close to their tent with lot of rocks above!

- Where can I buy a good map of Aconcagua? In the paseo sarmiento walk street 2 shops!

- Would 2 tents be a good idea? (leave one up at basecamp) take one higher up. Maybe if one of you is sick!!!! Or to keep equipment....

- Anything you would suggest for 2 people doing this unguided?take your time, good acclimatation is the key of success! Wait the ggod weather (less wind)

Have fun

User Avatar
john2013

 
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:59 am
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Re: Aconcagua questions

by john2013 » Mon May 28, 2018 11:03 pm

Hello!! did you get the top?? thanks


Return to South America

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests